The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a lower-court decision okaying Douglas County's controversial school voucher plan, which allows parents to use taxpayer dollars to enroll their kids at religious schools. That's great news for the ACLU of Colorado, which has been battling ... More >>
Outspoken Denver Public Schools board member Andrea Merida will not run for re-election. In a blog post on her website (the full text of which is below), she explains why: "I cannot, in good conscience, serve on a board whose only function now is to give tests." Merida was the subject of a 2010 Wes ... More >>
Want evidence of just how colorful Colorado has become? Stop by the Colorado Senate this morning, where two big bills will be considered. One, calling for new sex education standards, shows how very blue the Colorado Legislature is these days, The second, HB 13-1061, which would set standards for "r ... More >>
Jim Griffin, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, has been inducted into the Charter Schools Hall of Fame. "Colorado has been on the forefront of our nation's charter school movement and has provided other states with examples of how strong policies and effective leadership can ha ... More >>
The February 26 Denver Post featured a lengthy article on Joneen Mackenzie and how she became a crusader for abstinence education -- a crusade she leads through her Center for Relationship Education, which is funded by a pair of grants, including one approved by the Colorado Board of Educatio ... More >>
Adam Gildar, Westword MasterMind (Class of 2011), is having a hard time getting used to saying "I" rather than "we" when speaking about happenings at his South Broadway gallery: Formerly known as Illiterate and managed by three partners including Gildar, it's now re-entering the art-scene fray as Gi ... More >>
Ethan Hemming, charter school whiz and former interim executive director of the Charter School Institute, is no longer interim. The institute's board of directors has made him the official executive director and head of an organization in the process of righting itself after several things went wron ... More >>
Colorado is seventh in the nation when it comes to the quality of its charter school laws, according to a ranking released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. That's actually a downgrade from last year, when Colorado ranked fourth in the country. Why the slip? The folks ... More >>
Update: The State Board of Education has approved new standards for charter school authorizers -- the school districts and one quasi-state agency that approve new charter schools. But the standards aren't mandatory. As the Colorado Department of Education's Amy Anderson tell us, state board members ... More >>
The Charter School Institute board is once again complete. Last week, Governor John Hickenlooper appointed a ninth member: Liz Aybar, who once served as principal of the now-shuttered P.S. 1 Charter School in Denver. Aybar and the other eight board members have their work cut out for them, as explai ... More >>
FlickrEnrollment in charter schools is growing nationwide, as well as here in Colorado. More than two million students now attend charter schools in the U.S., a 13 percent increase from last year, according to numbers released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Colorad ... More >>
This year may be the last for the Life Skills Center, a last-chance high school that Westword profiled in 2007. Last night, the Denver Public Schools board voted to shutter the struggling alternative charter school, which had been given a second chance in 2008 after facing the same fate.
Martinez.Judge Michael A. Martinez's ruling that stopped a Douglas County school voucher program has been controversial in some quarters, with the families of impacted students frequently casting blame on plaintiffs behind the lawsuit in question. But a longtime critic of the voucher plan has ... More >>
Michael Bennet."School of Thought: 11 Education Activists for 2011," just published by Time magazine, contains some predictable names (Michelle Rhee) and some surprising ones (Jeb Bush?). But the highest ranking elected official cited is Senator Michael Bennet, who's been getting a gusher of ... More >>
Reporter Melanie Asmar's recent post juxtaposing abstinence education versus what she termed more "realistic" sex ed drew a passionate response from one reader. She feels the question should go well beyond whether or not instructors will still be able to use bananas and condoms.
To teach it or not to teach it? The Republican-heavy state Board of Education is going after a $3.2 million abstinence-only education grant that Governor Bill Ritter's administration passed up in favor of a $3.9 million grant that pays for sex ed that teaches kids about birth control, too. So ... More >>
From zazzle.com On Thursday night, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education will talk about sex, baby. More specifically, they'll talk about sex ed -- and how it's important that teenagers with raging libidos "have access to science-based, comprehensive, medically-accurate, culturally r ... More >>
Lawrence Hernandez likes to eat out, and likes you to pay for it.Every week we introduce you to one of life's biggest shmucks. Our latest: the Cesar Chavez Schools network. Since they began gaining steam in the late-90s, charter schools -- those independent public schools whose freedom from ... More >>
$240,605 $41,470 $30,116 = an expensive school board raceThe final tally of money raised in last November's contentious Denver Public Schools school board election is in. And according to Education News Colorado reporter Nancy Mitchell, that tally is "jaw-dropping." The three non-incumbe ... More >>
P.S. 1 Charter School is in the Golden Triangle neighborhoodThe evidence against P.S. 1 Charter School, the subject of this week's feature, "P.S. 1 Didn't Make the Grade, But Can Anything Replace Denver's Longest-running Charter School?," is harsh. Several reports from Denver Public Schools o ... More >>
Students at Denver Big Picture High School are part of DPS' big picture.Denver Public Schools officials have suggested a series of plans to "turn around" the city's six lowest-performing schools. But before they approve the changes, they want to hear from the public. The Board of Education ... More >>
Two parties benefiting arts organizations will delve into love and hate.
Last week, I received this e-mail (reprinted verbatim) from a Mr. Jason Mason: Sheehan (Mr Anthony Bourdain wannabe) Can you or will you ever give a true review w/stars, forks, diamonds, pokadots, liquor bottles, etc? I've been in the business a long time and have never seen anyone like you kiss s ... More >>
The December 6, 2007 Message column focused on The Jump, an organization made up of former journalists eager to help veteran colleagues who've recently left newspapering to take the next career step. Among those featured was Jump board member Todd Engdahl, a multi-position player at the Denver Post ... More >>
In his first week running his new website, Brad Jones crashed a state representative. What will he do for an encore?
Skyland Community High School faces renewal or revocation of its charter next week. Itís out to prove it can make the grade.
Excel Academy charter school wants a home, but neighbors say not on their range.
From the week of August 28, 2003
DPS's new literacy program is raising the bar -- but will it raise test scores?
Virtual schools are becoming a viable option for parents who prefer to keep their kids at home.
As the controversy continues over Colorado's new report cards, Westword offers this handy guide for the perplexed.
Four Denver schools plan to switch to a year-round schedule.
Charter schools are perfect for special-education kids. That's the problem.
Neighbors of Jefferson Academy think the charter school could use a civics lesson.
P.S.1's changing course leaves some people wondering what direction the charter school is taking.
WHY IS P.S. 1 THE ONLY NEW CHARTER SCHOOL TO SURVIVE? ASK DPS.
WHEN TWO DPS TEACHERS DECIDED TO OPEN A NEW SCHOOL, THEY DISCOVERED THEY HAD A LOT TO LEARN.
THE WINNERS AND LOSERS AFTER A YEAR OF THE CHARTER-SCHOOL LAW.